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Ascension: Rise of Vigil» Forums » General

Subject: Which is the Best Stand-Alone Ascension Set? rss

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AMERIGAMER!
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I can't decide which set to get. Thanks for any and all help!
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Eric Leath
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davestephens wrote:
I can't decide which set to get. Thanks for any and all help!


Technically, they're all Standalone. Did you mean LARGE set?

A few questions in an attempt to help?

1.) How large is the group with which you will be playing? If 2, you can get away with something like Return of the Fallen or Immortal Heroes. If more than 2, you want to go with Chronicle, Storm, or Rise of Vigil.

2.) How familiar are you with the game? If just getting into it, go for Chronicle first and then up the difficulty level by gradually purchasing more and more sets. I'm probably in the minority, but I think Chronicle is one of the better designed sets in the series.

3.) What do you want out of a game? Each set brings something different to the table:
Chronicle - base set; gives a pure and streamlines experience.

Return of Fallen - introduces fate (i.e. effects that occur immediately when cards are flipped into the center row)

Storm of Souls - Adds Trophies (cards that can be 'banked' in your play area to be redeemed at a later point in time) as well as Events, which are the equivalent of Global Effects that affect the way the game plays.

Immortal Heroes - introduces Soul Gems. Cards from CotG and RotF that are randomly acquired through the effects of other cards in the set. Good for people who like calculated risk.

Rise of Vigil - feels a bit like the Original Chronicle, but introduces a new resource in the form of Energy Shards. Shards give 1 Energy and draw a card. Certain cards in the set will have Normal Abilities and "Energized" abilities, which are more powerful/swingy effects that occur if you have gained a certain number of energy that turn.

4.) It's my personal bias, but I rank the sets in the following order:
First - Return of the Fallen
Second - Chronicle of the Godslayer
Third - Rise of Vigil
Fourth - Storm of Souls
Fifth - Immortal Heroes
... though 4 and 5 could be switched. I wasn't really a fan of block 2.

.
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Andrew Brooks
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Eric's breakdown of the sets is spot on and I largely agree with what he said.

I personally think that the large sets (Chronicles, Storm of Souls, and Rise of Vigil) all provide a better stand alone experience than the expansions (Return of the Fallen and Immortal Heroes). Although the expansions are technically capable of being played as a stand alone set you have a smaller center deck so there isn't as much variety from game to game. Also, the expansions tend to introduce more complicated cards so they aren't as useful for a starting point.

Of the large sets I would probably recommend Chronicles or Rise of Vigil. Chronicles does a great job of keeping things dead simple and provides a nice introduction to what each of the factions do. Rise of Vigil introduces some mechanics that give you more things to consider when building your deck but doesn't result in the mega turns that Storm of Souls is notorious for.

If you're totally new to deck building or want an easier learning curve then Chronicles is definitely the way to go. I will say that the art is much better in Rise of Vigil so if that's important to you then I would recommend it instead. I don't think you can really go wrong with either of those sets though, they provide different experiences but I wouldn't necessarily say that one is strictly better than the other.
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Paul Glickman
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Funny, I think the opposite. Block 2 was far better designed for a myriad of reasons.

I do think starting at the start is a good choice. Go with Chronicle and see how you feel. That, or try Vigil - it may correct the things I disliked about Chronicle/Return without actually changing the feel as much as SoS did.
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Original Dibbler
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If you want to play Ascension as a 2p game and IMHO 2p is the only way it should be played I would start with a small set.

If you play a 2p game with a small center deck (ie from a small set) you play most of the cards every game. Therefore you can play much more strategic than you could play with a large deck (from a big set) where you play ony have the center deck...
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Paul Glickman
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Originaldibbler wrote:
If you want to play Ascension as a 2p game and IMHO 2p is the only way it should be played I would start with a small set.

If you play a 2p game with a small center deck (ie from a small set) you play most of the cards every game. Therefore you can play much more strategic than you could play with a large deck (from a big set) where you play ony have the center deck...


But also, very low variance in a game that's about dealing with different combinations in the right way. I do not recommend using a tiny set, personally, the game feels much smaller.

Also, ignore the whole "2p only" thing, though it is a bit worse 4 player due to chaos and a weird center (we play with 8 piles 4 player so that the center stays a bit more static), 3 player works quite well.
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Original Dibbler
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Paul G wrote:
Originaldibbler wrote:
If you want to play Ascension as a 2p game and IMHO 2p is the only way it should be played I would start with a small set.

If you play a 2p game with a small center deck (ie from a small set) you play most of the cards every game. Therefore you can play much more strategic than you could play with a large deck (from a big set) where you play ony have the center deck...


But also, very low variance in a game that's about dealing with different combinations in the right way. I do not recommend using a tiny set, personally, the game feels much smaller.

Also, ignore the whole "2p only" thing, though it is a bit worse 4 player due to chaos and a weird center (we play with 8 piles 4 player so that the center stays a bit more static), 3 player works quite well.


Low veriance? I disagree since it makes a huge difference when the cards show up. So far we played over 100 games of Ascension (including about 40 plays of each small set) and I can say that it does not get boring or repetitive.

But let me explain what I meant in a little more detail: if you play only half of the center deck than it can (and will) happen that much more cards of a certain type show up than than they "normaly" would. In this cases tactics that would not normally work can become strong or the other way around, ie the games gets more random and less strategic.

IMHO the game is best as a 2 p game. As a 4p game played in teams it is almost as good and 3p is OK, too. I would not recommend 4-6p. (Maybe 6p and 3 teams works, too. I have not tried that.) Why do I think that it is better with a small number of players? 90 % of the interaction derives from the modification of the center row. It is not only important which card I defeat or aquire I have to consider which cards my opponent might get if I don't aquire, defeat or banish it.
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Chad Ackerman
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Originaldibbler wrote:
Paul G wrote:
Originaldibbler wrote:
If you want to play Ascension as a 2p game and IMHO 2p is the only way it should be played I would start with a small set.

If you play a 2p game with a small center deck (ie from a small set) you play most of the cards every game. Therefore you can play much more strategic than you could play with a large deck (from a big set) where you play ony have the center deck...


But also, very low variance in a game that's about dealing with different combinations in the right way. I do not recommend using a tiny set, personally, the game feels much smaller.

Also, ignore the whole "2p only" thing, though it is a bit worse 4 player due to chaos and a weird center (we play with 8 piles 4 player so that the center stays a bit more static), 3 player works quite well.


Low veriance? I disagree since it makes a huge difference when the cards show up. So far we played over 100 games of Ascension (including about 40 plays of each small set) and I can say that it does not get boring or repetitive.

But let me explain what I meant in a little more detail: if you play only half of the center deck than it can (and will) happen that much more cards of a certain type show up than than they "normaly" would. In this cases tactics that would not normally work can become strong or the other way around, ie the games gets more random and less strategic.

IMHO the game is best as a 2 p game. As a 4p game played in teams it is almost as good and 3p is OK, too. I would not recommend 4-6p. (Maybe 6p and 3 teams works, too. I have not tried that.) Why do I think that it is better with a small number of players? 90 % of the interaction derives from the modification of the center row. It is not only important which card I defeat or aquire I have to consider which cards my opponent might get if I don't aquire, defeat or banish it.


I prefer smaller decks, too. Return of the Fallen is my favorite set. My order of preference would be:
Return of the Fallen
Storm of Souls
Rise of the Vigil
Chronicles of the Godslayer
Immortal Heroes

Nowadays my group makes custom decks of about 75-120 cards depending on the number of players. I prefer 2P games with a 75ish card deck. Anything more than that starts to get really "messy" IMO.
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